Russian tower block collapses after 'gas' explosion in Izhevsk, western Urals

Oliver Carroll
Moscow
@olliecarroll
Thursday 09 November 2017 14:38
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Russian tower block collapses after 'gas' explosion

A nine-storey residential block in Izhevsk, central Russia, has partly collapsed following reports of an explosion. A total of 32 apartments were destroyed.

The Interfax news agency has reported that at least two dead body, including a 60-year-old woman, have been recovered from the scene. Two teenage boys have been hospitalised.

An emergency operation is ongoing. Rescuers believe that at least six people remain trapped under the rubble.

500 residents have been evacuated from neighbouring tower blocks.

Authorities have said that a gas explosion is the most likely cause of the collapse. Witnesses reported hearing an explosion just before the building disintegrated.

Fires and explosions from gas leaks are not unusual in Russia, especially in smaller cities. Here, Soviet housing stock and poor maintenance combine to often devastating effects.

In 2016, there were 12 recorded instances of gas explosions in residential blocks, resulting in 28 deaths.

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